Czech Farmers Cheese Christmas Bread (Tvarohová Vánočka)

This is a variation on the beloved Czech Christmas sweet bread (Vanočká) that is usually made with yeast. Instead, this version uses baking powder and other leavening agents. It also includes soft-style farmers cheese (měkký tvaroh), which increases its richness and gives its inside a slightly softer texture. It is quicker to make than its yeast-raised cousin (soon to also be posted), only requiring about 2 hours or less, from start to finish.

Continue reading

Makové Kuličky (Poppy Seed Balls)

Mák (poppy seeds) are commonly used in baking, confections, and even more savory cooking, in Czech Republic. These poppy seed balls are unbaked, have only a small number of ingredients, and are relatively quick to make. If you love poppy seeds, you might really like these on your Christmas cookie platter. They are definitely unique!

Continue reading

Kokosky (Coconut Meringue Cookies)

Puffs of heavenly coconut bliss

Today is only the second week of November, yet I’ve made my first batch of Christmas cookies this year! I’ve decided to add a few additional varieties to my 10 Varieties of Czech Christmas Cookies post. So maybe I’ll have 13 or 14 in that post before Christmas?

Here I’m featuring melt in your mouth coconut meringue cookies, which are also popular on Czech Christmas cookie trays. Like most Czech cookies, they are made small to be one or two-bites each. Virtually the only fat in these meringues comes from the coconut, unless you decide to dip them in chocolate, as well.

Continue reading

Buchty Recipes (Czech sweet buns with fillings)

As the buchty continue to rise, they bake together.

This month, my Czech Christmas cookie posts are being viewed by hundreds of people. It’s quite exciting! I will not be posting any additional Czech cookie recipe this year, but thought I’d add at least one new Czech sweet to my blog. Buchty are very popular sweet buns that are usually filled with a family’s favorite sweet fillings. It is the case that many buchty fillings are used for other recipes, including some Czech Christmas cookie recipes. Given this, you may wish to keep note of the filling recipes, by themselves. Or, maybe consider filling your home with the lovely scent of buchty. My husband and I enjoy eating buchty for breakfast, but they can be enjoyed anytime!

Continue reading

More than 10 Varieties of Czech Christmas Cookies (České Vánoční Cukroví), plus

This post from 2019 has been my most viewed this past month. I am thinking that with more people home during the pandemic, Christmas cookie baking has become an extra popular activity. For that reason, I thought I would share this post again here on WordPress. Enjoy!

Bird Flight

Christmas cookie platter 2018 metal (2) My 2018 Christmas cookie platter. Not all Czech cookies in this post are shown above.

This post marks the end of my Czech Christmas cookie countdown. Phew! On November 11th, I posted my first of 10 Czech Christmas cookie/confection recipes, with my last posted yesterday, along with a bonus Czech sweet bread. According to my husband, my mother-in-law would make as many as 13 different varieties for their platter. Frankly, I can’t manage all of that baking!

View original post 2,126 more words

Weeks 6 & 7 – Friday Fitness & Weight Loss Restart (Hectic, but some good results)

I’m sorry I missed last week’s update. The past two weeks have been ultra-hectic. I confess that some of the days I neglected to track my meals. I also ate some things that I wouldn’t normally eat during this effort. I didn’t go too overboard. See what happened below:

Continue reading

Week 5 – Friday Fitness & Weight Loss Restart (Normal Weight Fluctuations)

Weight fluctuations
Person weighs 67.9 kg (149.7 lbs) on Day 3 at breakfast. After supper, 69.55 kg (153.3 lbs). That’s a 1.65 kg (3.64 lb) gain the same day. Weight decreases notably by next day (Day 4) breakfast.

Graph Source:  Wikimedia Commons (click here to see source)

Last Friday, my scale showed a mini weight gain. I had stayed within my daily calorie allowances. The gain annoyed me for that reason, and because it undid my accomplishment of reaching an interim goal. However, I knew I lost fat. Just knew it! I coughed up the gain to “other factors”, meaning water weight, hormonal fluctuations, and/or something else. My weight can fluctuate greatly, even within a day. So, I put that behind me. I expected that I’d see a good result today. Did I? See below. Continue reading

Week 4 – Friday Fitness & Weight Loss Restart (Simplifying Meal Prep)

Leftovers
Leftovers simplify meal prep for future meals and help prevent rash food choices.

Even as an enthusiastic cook, I sometimes need a break. I don’t want to halt my weight loss journey, just ease up on some of the effort and time needed for meal planning and preparation. Fatigue and excess stress can lead to bad food choices, I know. I have to avoid this. Ways to simplify meal prep and planning is this week’s topic. But first things first – see my week’s weight change below. Continue reading

Lovage Soup (Libečková polévka)

Lovage soup in a bowl

lovage
Just coming up in the spring. More stalks to come.

The herb lovage (levisticum officinale) is much more commonly used in Europe than the United States, but I’m lucky to say that it is a part of my herb garden. My Czech husband and I found it at a garden center in New Jersey, several years back. This sturdy tall perennial herb has come up every spring since, and lasts into early autumn.

Lovage has a flavor reminiscent of celery and parsley, so goes extremely well in soups and many other recipes. The whole plant is edible, even down to the roots, but in this recipe I use the stalks and leaves. Lovage is the star ingredient of this soup, along with root vegetables that add additional flavors, thickness, and a bit of sweetness. It’s important to use stalks with younger leaves, otherwise it can be slightly bitter. The recipe can be made vegetarian, or even vegan, easily. Continue reading

Week 3 – Friday Fitness & Weight Loss Restart (Yummy food helps me lose)

Week 3 image diet food helps me lose

I would have been quite surprised if I didn’t lose weight this past week! I was determined to meet my interim goal of reaching the next lower 10 lb weight bracket, by today. Though my exercise did slightly dip, my daily food allowances were not exceeded. And yet, I think that some would not have thought all of my daily menus diet-like. Menu planning takes effort, but it’s more than worth it. Loving to cook and bake helps, too. Curious about my week’s weight change? It’s right below. Continue reading